York Raspberry Jam & Maker Event

Title: York Raspberry Jam & Maker Event
Location: National STEM Centre, University of York, Swards Way,York, YO10 5DD
Date: Saturday November 1, 2014
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Tickets: Click here

Spend the weekend with us celebrating everything Raspberry Pi and Maker!

The National STEM Centre is hosting a family friendly Raspberry Jam and Maker Event on the 1st of November 2014 and we would love you and your family to join us.

Try out our hands on workshops on Lego, Vex, programming, Arduino and Raspberry Pi and much more…

You don’t need your own kit to take part, come and play, hack and share with us and our techie experts!

Workshops, demonstrations and presentations will be happening throughout the day.

An affordable lunch will also be available to purchase from the central dining area.

National STEM Centre events are very popular and demand often exceeds capacity. It is crucial that we can make sure our venue caters for the right size of audience, hence the need for ticket registration.

Fancy helping? If you or your organisation would like to present or run a workshop on the day – please contant the organiser Gemma Taylor: g.taylor@slcs.ac.uk

Disclaimer – Please note that Raspberry Jam is not endorsed, sponsored or associated with Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi products or services and our Maker Event is not endorsed, sponsored or associated with Maker Faire or Maker products.

#raspberryjam @Ntlstemcentre

Posted in Jam

In the beginning…

Alan O’Donohoe writes: I’m often asked how Raspberry Jam started, how the jam spread so quickly, and why I was motivated to start this movement. So here’s a little history of the birth of the Raspberry jam movement.

On the 11th February 2012, I organised our very first Hack To The Future event [ film | blogpost ] at my school, Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston. Everyone agreed it was a fabulous event, attended by 365 children, teachers, developers, hackers and computer scientists. In the months leading up to #H2DF (Twitter hashtag), I had hoped that the Raspberry Pi Foundation would be able to attend, but unfortunately, a number of production issues with the hardware on the Raspberry Pi set their launch back considerably and all hands were needed ‘on deck’ in Cambridge. In spite my best efforts, I was unsuccessful in placing an order for a Raspberry Pi on that fabled morning of Feb 29th 2012.

In May 2012, after seeing some of my twitter friends posting photos of their recently delivered Raspberry Pi computers, I grew green with envy. During 2011 and 2012 I was on the lookout for ways to increase access to Computing for all pupils at my school, we had been using Arduino, Picoboards, FIGnition and Shrimps. I was desparate to get hold of a Raspberry Pi so that I could see if this would be the solution I was looking for. I remember in July 2011 receiving a reply from Eben Upton.

So on the 5th May 2012 I hatched a plan… I believed that if I organised a computing event that focused on the Raspberry Pi computer that I would be able to persuade some of the new owners to come along and then finally I could handle a Raspberry Pi and discover first-hand the educational potential of the device.

I wanted to use a snappy name that perfectly described what the event was and I asked Deborah my wife for suggestions. She replied,

“You know how you play saxophone, but not very well. Well whenever you jam with others you don’t sound half bad. So, why not call it a Jam? A Raspberry Jam!” and so the name was born.

So that day, I developed my plans for the event a little further. I knew I had a room at school that could accomodate 30 people out of school hours, so I listed the event on Eventbrite. To my surprise and delight, all 30 tickets ‘sold out’ within a manner of an hour or so. My friend Martin Bateman at UCLan offered me a larger room and so we were able to issue a total of 60 tickets.

On the Sunday morning of 6th May, through the power of twitter, I received a steady flow of messages from Raspberry Pi enthusiasts around the world asking if they too could hold Raspberry Jam events. On the same day, I had discussions with Alec Clews about setting up Melbourne Raspberry Jam and my good friend Ben Nuttall about running Manchester Raspberry Jam events. Manchester can definitely claim the title of ‘1st Raspberry Jam event’, this took place on Saturday 9th June 2012. I couldn’t attend, I was away on holiday at the time, but Dan Hett wrote a review. 

In the months that followed I jointly organised Raspberry Jam events in London, Bristol and Cambridge, and supported Raspberry Jams that followed in Coventry, Milton Keynes, Penzance, Machynlleth, Somerset, Durham, Oxford, and Egham. Raspberry Jam communities quickly established in Germany, California, Africa, Japan, Singapore, CERN, Geneva. Now I’ve lost track of where they are, in fact – it started to take over my life so much that it caused quite a bit of friction at home and in school.

mach_jamRaspberry Jam events come in all sorts of different flavours, so there is not really a strict template that has to be followed. I’ve tried to encourage a mix of playing, hacking and sharing. It’s great to look back at the talented individuals I’ve met at Raspberry Jams and how their passion for Raspberry Pi and computing education has taken them away on exciting adventures, just look at what happened to Carrie Anne Philbin, Ben Nuttall, Amy Mather, and Ryan Walmsley

Characteristics of a jam:

  • Welcoming a mix of people from different backgrounds, age and levels of experience
  • Educating participants about the potential of the Raspberry Pi through sharing projects
  • Inspiring participants to try new projects and ideas, returning to the next jam to share developments.

IMG_9129_2The future: I’ve just secured some funding to launch a UK roadtour starting in November 2014 called ‘Jam Packed‘. It will bring Hack To The Future and Raspberry Jam to the communities most in need, with the intention of forging & developing computing communities in the areas that Jam Packed will visit. There will be another Raspberry Jamboree in 2015 and 2016 where we will be sharing the successes and resources from our Jam Packed UK tour.

Your vote can help: If you’re reading this before 19th September 2014, please [vote for me here], it takes less than 5 seconds – no need to register or give your details away. If you want to know why I am asking you, you can [read more here].

Egham Raspberry Jam – October 5, 2014

Title: Egham Raspberry Jam
Location: Gartner The Glanty TW20 9AW Egham United Kingdom
Date: Sunday October 5, 2014
Start Time: 14:00
End Time: 17:00
Link out: Click here
Description: 5th Raspberry Jam at the Gartner UK HQ offices

Additional Information:

After nearly a years gap the Egham Raspberry Jam is back

Pre registration required (it’s free).

Ages 8 and over.

Under 16s need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

No Soldering onsite.

There will be no internet access but a wireless router will be setup to allow connecting to local devices.

If you need Internet access then you will have to either tether to a phone or use a mifi type device.

If bringing a project to show please bring a power extension lead as the sockets are in funny places.

Have questions about Egham Raspberry Jam?? Contact Albert Hickey

Posted in Jam

Horsham Raspberry Jam – Sunday July 20

St Mary’s CE Primary School in association with Hack Horsham are pleased to announce the very first Horsham Raspberry Jam, to be held on Sunday July 20.

The school will be demoing their winning entry in the PA Consulting 2014 Raspberry Pi competition as well as their plant monitoring system. There will also be some Introduction to Scratch drop-in workshops running. We are hoping to have some other Raspberry Pi enthusiasts join us to show off what cool stuff they have been working on.

Full details of the event are as follows:

Horsham Raspberry Jam

Sunday July 20, 2014 – 1pm – 4pm

St Mary’s CE Primary School
West Sussex
RH12 1JL

Google Maps Link – https://goo.gl/maps/dU4pZ

The school will be opening it’s playground for parking, but there is also plentiful parking in Horsham Town Centre.

For more details and to express an interest in participating or attending, please contact hackhorsham@gmail.com

Posted in Jam

Raspberry Jamboree 2014

Alan O’Donohoe writes: I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our Raspberry Jam community for supporting our OCR Raspberry Jamboree, the second annual convention to share the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi community. I’d also like to thank our sponsors OCR, Pimoroni, CPC, Cyntech, ModMyPi, Exa Education, MathWorks, BCS Manchester, MagPi Magazine, Raspberry Pi Geek and Ciseco. In particular I also wish to thank Lisa Mather for organising an excellent party and Dawn Hewitson particularly for support with the hack day.

IMG_0582On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th February [link to show guide], about 400 travelled to Manchester for the first two days of our event and then 150 attended our family Jam Hack Day at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk [link to information] on Saturday 1st March.

I’m a computing teacher and my current roles include training other teachers as well as teaching my own classes. I am convinced that the Raspberry Pi has terrific educational potential, not just in Computing lessons but across the whole curriculum and beyond, more about later. One ambition of mine is to share the power of Pi with other teachers and those who support Computing education.

11I deliberately chose to ‘piggy back’ onto the EICE education event in Manchester as this would allow us to attract an audience of teachers that would not normally attend a Raspberry Pi specific event. By running our conference within another conference we can evangelise about the Raspberry Pi to a wider audience.

The 2013 Jamboree event we held in Manchester was a much more exclusive affair running in a separate enclosed space and the audience mostly comprised of those who were already converted to Raspberry Pi. This year I wanted our event to be much more open and welcoming to ‘non-geeks’ and so I agreed to site our various activities in locations spread around the EICE event. It was clear that a small number of our attendees did not fully appreciate this and would have preferred to be segregated from the main flurry of activity. I believe my plan largely succeeded as confirmed by the discussions with many teachers who confessed to knowing little about the Raspberry Pi, but who joined in with our sessions after being tempted by what was on offer.


If you were unable to attend this year’s event dont worry; over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing recordings from our Slice Of Pi talks and links to resources shared at the Jamboree. These will be shared on YouTube later, but you can go and listen to some teachers opinions of the event including Clive of Raspberry Pi and Simon Humphreys of Computing At School.

At one point I had to ask some of our delegates to refrain from apologising for not being a teacher, and this then became the running joke. The one thing that we all have in common, both teachers and non-teachers is that we all want to see the Raspberry Pi succeed – you shouldn’t need to apologise for this.

As well as 29 x Slices Of Pi (talks), we also held 3 x ‘Pi Panel Discussions’, 12 x hands-on ‘Raspberry Mastery’ classroom sessions and 26 x ‘Pi Gurus’ on the OCR stand. We had 65 speakers/session leaders. We ran an after school event on the Thursday evening and we celebrated the 2nd birthday of the Raspberry Pi with a party on the Friday night.

Then on day 3, Saturday 1st March, 150 parents, children, teachers and students travelled to Edge Hill University to take part in a family hack day. We offered a range of taster sessions and booster classes before allowing groups to work together on project of their choosing. We followed this with a grand prize giving session.

IMG_0512Over these last two years, I’ve enjoyed all of the rewards and the challenges that Raspberry Jam has brought me. The one thing I’ve strugged with is the volume of teaching and Raspberry Jam related email I receive. To help alleviate this problem, my next plan will be to produce a short documentary, a Raspberry Jam toolkit that shows what a Raspberry Jam event looks like and how to go about running your own.

It would be great to hold another Raspberry Jamboree again in 2015, but I’ll need a lot more support from people willing to share the organisational burden. There has been some recent suggestions to relocate the venue to one further south eg. Cambridge, though I’m not convinced of the merits of such a move. The current Manchester venue offers great transport links, a range of accommodation from £11 per night and is fairly central to the whole of the UK. The other attraction that fits perectly with the Jamboree’s aim of helping teachers discover the educational potential – is that linking it the EICE education event allows access to a wider audience than a group of geeks that are already making extensive use of the Raspberry Pi.


Preston Raspberry Jam 6th Jan 2014

Listed here, especially for listeners of BBC Radio Lancashire:

We’re holding our next Raspberry Jam event in Preston on Monday 6th January 2014. If you want to go, you must register for tickets here http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preston-raspberry-jam-rjam-monday-6th-jan-2014-tickets-10001375383

If you don’t really know what a Raspberry Jam event is, watch this recording of Alan O’Donohoe explaining on BBC Breakfast what a Raspberry Pi is and why you might want to go to a Raspberry Jam event.

The CPC Raspberry Jamboree – 9thMar2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 02.16.51

We held our first Raspberry Jam conference in Manchester on Saturday 9th March 2013.  Event details here for reference and you can look at our conference programme here. Next year in 2014, we aim to hold a 4 day Raspberry Pi conference event in celebration of the 2nd Birthday of the Raspberry Pi. The Thursday & Friday will be in Manchester and on the Saturday & Sunday we will link up with Raspberry Jam events all over the world. Register here for Raspberry Jamboree 2014 tickets and to find out how to sponsor this fantastic event.

At the 2013 event, there were two principal aims of the conference, but with more emphasis on the first aim:

1. One year on since the general release of the Raspberry Pi computer, we planned to identify successful examples of how it is changing computing education for the better. We particularly encouraged those with an interest in education to attend.

2. We also shared successful Jam-making practice. As Raspberry Jams continue to spread far around the World, we shared what a successful Raspberry Jam tastes like, the most successful recipes and the best ingredients so you can have a wonderful Jam in your area.

In this film from our closing Key Note, 13 year old Amy describes her passion for programming, she then explains how she met up with Ben Nuttall, a software developer and organiser of our Manchester Raspberry Jam and with his support she created a simulation of Conway’s Game of Life.

In this film recorded at the Jamboree, teacher Carrie Anne Philbin explains how attending the London Raspberry Jam helped her to see what kind of projects people are developing for their Raspberry Pi computers and in turn led to her developing some resources for teaching computing in her own classroom. .

A total of 365 people attended our Raspberry Jamboree, some of them travelling from across Europe and the Middle East and 140 registered for our webcast with about 50 – 80 people watching throughout the day. The webcast and recordings were provided by GloCast and I will be releasing these on YouTube over the next few days. Just some of the talks are here on this site, but more will be available on my Teknoteacher YouTube channel. This is a link to my photographs from the day, but there are many more elsewhere too.

Many people have written their own blog posts about the event and there was a double page article in the Times Educational Supplement on 15/3/2013, I recommend you read the following blog posts by Developer Nick Tollervey, Guardian Developer Blog, Enthusiast Jason Barnett, 11 year old Amy Appler’s blogpost, Computer Scientist Duncan Hull, Teacher Carrie Anne PhilbinDeveloper Gordon Henderson and Jon Archer. We also have some recordings from the livestream video cast of our ‘Slices of Pi’ room kindly managed by Digital Tree streaming.

Next year we are planning to hold an even bigger event over 3 days from Thursday 27th February to Saturday 1st March 2014 with many more ‘hands-on’ classes. Sometime between Friday 28th Feb and Saturday 1st March we will be celebrating the 2nd Birthday of the Raspberry Pi. Put it in your diary now.

Our graphics were created by the wonderful Peter Blatchford of LimeKnight & London Raspberry Jam



Preston Raspberry Jam, 01.07.13

ImageSilicon Bus Stop: A change of venue

On Monday 1st July we held our Preston Raspberry Jam at the CPC offices in Fulwood, Preston. We normally hold our Jam events at the University, but I wanted to explore the use of different venue. I had been to visit the offices a few times before and wondered if it would make a suitable location for holding events.

In Fulwood where I live, we have a handful of Tech companies including IBM and I jokingly refer to it as ‘Silicon Bus Stop’.

IMG_7671The Scratch Dojo format: The format for this Raspberry Jam event was a Scratch Dojo. After visiting the London Python Dojo organised by the inimitable Nicholas Tollervey, I was inspired to consider doing this at one of our Raspberry Jams with children, families & teachers. It’s a format that I’ve now embedded in my teaching and teacher training CPD events.

At the start of the evening, about 6.30-7.00pm, everyone who had brought a Raspberry Pi and display with them were asked to set up their computer in one of the office rooms.

Then, just after 7pm, we gathered everyone together in a large group in the sofa area and we considered as many projects we could work on as possible and every one had a chance to make a suggestion. We then voted for the project idea that held the most scope for interest and challenge levels. This time we voted for ‘Frogger‘.

Arranging the groups: I then split our attendees into 8 different groups of 5 – 6 per team, but trying to keep younger children with their parents. Each team was assigned an office room and they went off to work on their ‘Frogger’ project.

IMG_7680Each team was asked to first introduce themselves to each other and then nominate the first ‘driver’. The role of the driver is to do what the other navigators in the room instruct them to. To facilitate discussion and creative collaboration, the role of the driver was swapped every 5 minutes so that everyone had an opportunity to drive. In the teams that had very young children 5- 8yrs old, they chose to let the children do the majority of the driving.

When assigning people to teams, I tried to make sure there was an even balance of children, teenagers, parents, teachers and other adults.

IMG_7684What was interesting with the layout was that because each team was working away in a separate office, it gave them their own private space to develop their ideas and solutions without being distracted by what the other groups were doing. There were lots of similarities in the ways that the groups organised themselves.

We had 10 large office/meeting rooms available spread over two floors and a large atrium area with sofas and tables. While the venue may not be quite as glamourous as Google’s Mountain View offices in Silicon Valley, it is certainly a great space for inspiring creativity.

IMG_7670Assigning the Voyagers: After the teams had been working for about half an hour I went around each of the rooms and recruited a ‘voyager’. I then met with all of the voyagers together in the sofa area and briefed them on their next mission. I explained how they were going to have 3 minutes to visit each of the other rooms to gather as much information and as many ideas as possible, before returning to their original team to tell them what they had seen on their travels.

IMG_7687I then asked if anybody wanted a break, but all of the teams seemed happy to continue until the end.

Show and tell: The layout of the foyer and sofa area didn’t really lend itself to a large theatre style show and tell activity, also there would have been the problem of projecting everyone’s Frogger game large enough. The Faraday room on the first floor may have been ideal, but it was unavailable to us at the time. So, I planned a different structure for the show & tell.

Instead, at 8.45pm, I went around and visited each of the teams and asked them to go and visit the other teams to see what their games looked like. This gave some their first opportunity to dicover how others had created their Frogger game and to actually try playing the games as well. Most people drew the same conclusion (no matter what team they were in):

“It was great to see how other teams solved the same problem, but ours was the best”


Packing up: By 9pm we had managed to pack all of the Raspberry Pi computers back in our cars, and assemble outside for a group photo. Unfortunately, a few families left before the photo. Next time, we’ll take a photo at the beginning of the evening.

The verbal feedback was very encouraging. Some people had travelled great distances and wanted to talk about having Raspberry Jam events in their schools and colleges.

The next Preston Raspberry Jam will be on Monday 5th August for talks & demonstrations. Our next family style dojo will be on Monday 2nd September.




London Raspberry Jam 3.01.13

Alan O’Donohoe @teknoteacher writes: Around 70 children, parents and teachers had a great time at the London Raspberry Jam organised by parent Paul Evans on Thursday 3rd January. In the few days before Christmas, Paul imagined that there would be many Raspberry Pi computers in Christmas stockings leaving the recipients of these gifts a little puzzled.

It had always been my aim with Raspberry Jam to encourage a broad range of ages and expertise to attend these events, so I was especially keen to support Paul with the organisation of this event. Many of the previous events have taken place on school nights, which makes the events less accessible to children.

We started the event with an ice breaker devised by Paul. He had commisioned some specially designed badges to help people identify their roles, eg. ‘noob’, ‘iTeach’, ‘hacker inside’, ‘only here because somebody forced me’.

There were three workshops on offer for everyone. Rob Bishop of the Raspberry Pi Foundation entertained our audience with ideas for projects and encouraged people to go out and build stuff.

Andrew Robinson brought his Pi Face hardware controller project. As well as running a workshop demonstrating hardware control using Scratch, he demonstrated how you could use a Raspberry Pi to control the lights on the Mozilla Christmas tree.

I (Alan O’Donohoe) ran a tutorial for families showing how to create quizes and random games with their Rasberry Pi using Python one of the programming languages supported.

One challenge we faced was having enough displays for everyone to enjoy a ‘hands on’ experience. It takes a certain amount of dedication to carry a TV in a box 500 miles and across London using only public transport. Luckily, as well as all the Raspberry Pi computers, we also had a number of other computers we were able to make use of.

There is an album of photos from the day here for you to view. If you are considering organising a Raspberry Jam event or you are a teacher who wants to know more about how to use the Raspberry Pi computer, I recommend you read about our Raspberry Jamboree event in March.

We are grateful to all our event sponsors Twilio, the Python Software Foundation and Mozilla our host and all those who supported our event by attending or contributing.